DreamHost is one of the leaders in the web hosting industry with 18 years of presence. It hosted more than 1.5 million websites, served more than 400,000 customers in over 100 countries. The official WordPress.org recommends DreamHost as one of the options for self-hosted WordPress platform. DreamHost offers arguably one of the best shared hosting services too, which we are about to put under the lens for examination. Let us explore if truly their plans are worth you investing your budget.
DreamHost Shared Hosting Features
DreamHost offers the following features for all shared hosting users:
- Free domain for one-year (on yearly plans) with domain privacy
- Custom cPanel
- SSD storage with SSL
- Preinstalled WordPress with auto update option
- Free website transfer using DreamHost Automated Migration plugin
- Drag and drop website builder
- Automated daily backup
- WP-CLI and Shell access
- 97 days money back guarantee
Other features like number subdomains, emails, etc. depends on which plan you choose.
Related: Review of Bluehost shared hosting plans.
Shared Hosting Plans
The features of the shared hosting service depends on the plan you choose. DreamHost offers two plans that you can choose from – Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited.
At first look, you may think DreamHost offers simple and plain pricing plans compared to other popular hosting companies like Bluehost, HostGator and SiteGround. However, you may get confused with monthly, yearly and 3 year pricing plans. You have to be careful in choosing the duration, as the features like storage and free domain will change based on the duration of the contract.
This is the basic plan and it is best suited to small blogs and businesses with a small website. On this plan, the highest number of websites you can host is one. However, there are no limits on the bandwidth you use and the monthly visit (traffic). The plan allows you a storage size of 50GB based on the high-speed SSD drive as well as a free SSL Certificate. Additional features include pre-installed WordPress, free WordPress migration as well as a website builder.
There is a catch to the DreamHost plans; it is available in monthly, annually, and three-year billing. The basic monthly cost for the Shared Starter plan is $4.95 (USD), annually the price per month goes down to $3.95. The three-year billing brings down further to $2.59.
This is an upgrade on the shared starter and with it comes features upgrades too. The first thing to know, there is no limit to the number of websites you can host on this plan. The same thing goes for the bandwidth and traffic as it is unmetered. Furthermore, you can have unlimited email accounts on this plan along with a free SSL Certificate. The SSL Certificate is not only free but it is also pre-installed. The storage space too is unlimited and based on the high-speed SSD drive. All these along with additional features like free WordPress migration, pre-installed WordPress, etc.
Similar to the shared starter plan, the shared unlimited is also available in three billing types. The monthly billing cost $10.95 per month while the annual billing cost $3.95 per month. The price remains the same at $3.95 per month for the three-year billing plan.
Related: InterServer hosting review.
Complete Details of Pricing and Features
Below table gives you the detail of pricing per month for both plans for different durations. We do not understand why the price is same for yearly plan for both these plans with completely different features.
|Price / Plan
DreamHost Support System
The technical support is robust in order to provide a good support system for the customers. Although the tech support is only accessible once, you are login to your account. To get across to contact support, you will have to submit a ticket, go through live chat or phone support callbacks. The support team is mostly available from inside your control panel. You will only be able to submit a few cases when you are not logged into your account. You will be able to log cases like login problems, billing, and sales and other non-technical issues. There is an all-round clock in-house support system to attend to your issues.
Related: Review of SiteGround cloud VPS hosting.
In terms of security, DreamHost already provides an SSL certificate along with the plan. There is also a daily auto backup to guard against data loss. The free domain privacy function protects your personal data. The auto WordPress updates keep your WordPress site updated and protected.
Apart from all the features mentioned above, there are also several other advanced features that you are entitled to on DreamHost plans. The shared web host support PHP version 7.1 up to 7.3 as well as an advanced and easy to use control panel. There is IPv6 support, MySQL databases, secure shell access (SSH). In addition, other advanced features make DreamHost shared hosting appealing.
Speed and Uptime
Given that the shared host service is based on SSD storage, you can be sure of considerable speed. What really ticks the speed box is the server response time clocking at an average speed of 634 ms over 12 months. This falls in between the industry average speed of 400-700 ms.
Over the past 12 months, they have been able to maintain an average uptime rate of 99.63%. This is below the industry standard of 99.9%. The monthly billing plan for both plans lacks the free domain package which is only afforded to the annual and three-year billing plan. The monthly Shared Starter plan also lacks free email accounts. You will have to buy the number of email accounts you want. The shared Starter plan also comes with other limits on several other features. However, those limits are inconsequential for individuals with smaller sites and blogs.
The DreamHost shared web hosting does not allow you to specify the amount RAM your server utilizes. In addition, you cannot run on the Nginx web server but just the Apache webserver. Furthermore, site migration could come at a cost depending on what site you are trying to migrate and the process. Apart from the free WordPress migration, trying to migrate from other sites attracts a fee of $99. Although it is refundable if DreamHost is unable to migrate the site successfully.
Apart from being affordable DreamHost offers many features that make your web hosting experience enjoyable. You can be sure of a considerable amount of page speed and uptime rate, which are key to running a website. However, it has its shortfall like confusing pricing plans based on duration. For a new blogger, DreamHost shared hosting service can give needed resources to make the site operations smooth enough.
- Leader in hosting industry recommended by WordPress.org.
- High-speed and reliable shared hosting.
- Cheap pricing.
- Confusing pricing plans for different duration.
- Many limitations on starter plan.